Suspense and Obscurity
Fitness and Nutrition
Stone Voices is Ascherson's return to his native Scotland. It is an exploration of Scottish identity, but this is no journalistic rumination on the future of that small nation.
Stone Voices is Ascherson's return to his native Scotland. Ascherson instead weaves together a story of the deep past - the time of geology and archaeology, of myth and legend - with the story of modern Scotland and its rebirth. His books on Poland and his collected essays on the strange Britain to which he returned from Europe in the mid-1980s were deeply influential.
A classic history-cum-memoir' -Daily Telegraph.
Opposition to Turkey's Ilisu Dam rises again with Maggie Ronayne, published 27 November 2007, chinadialogue.
Not that his book indulges in England-bashing; there's enough to say about Scotland without dwelling on her 'dangerous neighbour'.
Politicians, marketers and the military may be pushing the Union Jack, but in 2002, the Cross of St George has been the flag of choice. At the World Cup, the jubilee and even Glastonbury, there has been an outburst of English nationalism. Not that his book indulges in England-bashing; there's enough to say about Scotland without dwelling on her 'dangerous neighbour'. Nor does he produce a definitive or reductive guide to Scotland's history and culture. Instead, each successive generation writes its own history, using the raw materials - the 'artefacts' - that it finds.
326. ISBN 1 86207 583 2 London: Granta Books.
In his exploration of the myths and realities surrounding this remarkable region, where ancient cultures collided and modern states - Russia, Turkey, Romania, Greece, and Caucasus - mingle, he discovers that the meanings of community, nationhood, and cultural independence are both fierce and disturbingly uncertain.
His books include Black Sea (H&W, 1995) and The Struggles for Poland.
The rediscovery of Scotland's past and a wake-up call about its future, from a leading scholar-journalist
Scotland has a new Parliament and it has North Sea oil, but is it yet an independent, self-sustaining democracy? Is it a true nation? In Stone Voices, Neal Ascherson launches what he calls an imaginative invasion of his native land, searching for the relationships, themes, and fantasies that make up "Scotland."
Beginning with a breathtaking portrait of the country's landscape, and of the way humanity has indelibly marked even its rockiest contours, Ascherson takes us on a journey through Scotland's past, interweaving his historical accounts with a rollicking report on a back-country bus expedition he joined during the 1997 referendum campaign that led to Scotland's first modern Parliament. He asked voters then what kind of country they hoped for, what they feared, and what they expected―questions that animate his book as well.
In his search for a nation, Acherson explores many themes: the slow, hybrid formation of the Scottish people over centuries of successive immigrations; the way their most renowned intellectuals and writers came to hate the national church; the peculiar nature of their diaspora; the coexistence of their search for an "authentic" Scotland with the myths others create; and the Scots' proud sense of true independence. Stone Voices enlightens us about Scotland, about Europe, and about the conditions for freedom that we must all seek today.
"Greatly accessible compendium of scholarly passion." - Kirkus Reviews
Photo and Art